What are moles?

Moles (nevi) are dark, usually raised spots on the skin that are comprised of skin cells that have grown in a group rather than individually. These cells are called melanocytes and are responsible for producing melanin.

Moles can be genetically inherited; some appear at childbirth while others develop later in life. They can also come and go with hormonal changes usually during puberty or pregnancy. Some moles may also develop from sun exposure.

Moles are usually harmless, but some can develop into skin cancer. Other moles also get bigger and darker over time, making them an unsightly nuisance and a cause for teasing or bullying in some people.